Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Shallow Waves is a new project by Zaid Khan that combines garage rock, surf, and noise pop. He recently released a very concise, short record entitled Come On In that is a blast to listen to. The music itself sounds like Nirvana attempting to play surf rock and pulling it off. Some of the power chords he was playing sounds like something you would hear from a Nirvana B-side in the early 90’s. However, that is about as far as the comparisons go. Khan’s voice sparkles and sounds more comparable to a pop artist from the 50’s. I thought it created a nice contrast between all the elements that not only crossed genres but seemed to cross time periods. Underneath all the influences you still need to have original material and good songwriting. Luckily Khan does both pretty successfully. Strip away the distortion and you are still left with well-written pop songs that hold up.
Take for example the first song “Scream and Shout” which is the catchiest song on the album as well as the song that has the most influence from surf rock. The song starts off sounding like Surf Pop 101 before sounding like something you might hear from TY Segall Band. I loved the vocal melody in this song, especially the harmonies he does on the verse. The second song on his EP is entitled “Through This” and it is a bit darker and almost as effective. I have to say I was impressed by the way his voice changes when the chorus hits but it almost sounds like it’s a different person singing. HIs voice goes up a couple of octaves but was wondering if there was something else he was doing to have his voice sound different. The EP closes with “I Know” which is the longest song on the album and also contains a surplus of guitar solos that are covered in reverb rather than distortion.
After listening to this EP I felt hungry for more. I'm looking forward to a full length from Shallow Waves
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